Diverticular disease

Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 12 Dec 2021

Diverticular disease is an overarching term for any pathology involving a diverticula but when not otherwise specified usually refers to colonic diverticular disease and associated sequelae. 

There is overlap in terms used to describe the pathologies associated with colonic diverticula 6:

  • diverticulosis: presence of non-inflamed diverticula
  • diverticulitis: inflamed diverticulum/diverticula
  • diverticular disease: overarching term for any entity involving diverticula including diverticulosis, diverticulitis, diverticular hemorrhage, etc

Diverticulosis is largely asymptomatic, however, 4% of individuals with diverticula develop diverticulitis throughout their lifetime 5.

Outpouchings of GI tract result in blind-ended diverticula in communication with the lumen of the gastrointestinal system. They most commonly occur within the sigmoid colon, although may arise anywhere from the pharynx to the anal verge (although rectal or anal diverticula are very rare 4):

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1 : colonic
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  • Case 2 : colonic
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